The real cost of living in Amsterdam (2022)

Shreya

Updated on Sep 19 • 9 minute read

Amsterdam ranks on top in many studies, which unfortunately also includes the cost of living.

In 2022 Amsterdam ranks 30th for quality of life worldwide, 2nd for the best city in the world, and 2nd globally and 6th in Europe for the safest city. All these rankings scream “Let’s move to Amsterdam!”. But there’s a price to pay for this good quality of life.

Amsterdam ranks 44th worldwide when it comes to the cost of living.

The true cost of living depends on your lifestyle. But this article will help you set your expectations by sharing the average cost of housing, transport, health insurance, utilities, dining out, groceries, education, childcare, personal needs, taxes, and hidden costs.

Average Salary in The Netherlands

The cost of living in any city has to be considered in proportion to the salary you earn. According to the Central Planbureau (CBP) In The Netherlands, the average annual gross salary in 2022 is €36,500, or €2,816 per month.

Rental Prices: Is It Expensive to Live in Amsterdam?

Here’s an indication of the average monthly rent in Amsterdam based on the HousingAnywhere Rent Index.

  • Furnished Private Room with utilities (best for students): €649.
  • Furnished Studio with utilities (best for singles, couples, or new graduates): €1,177.
  • Unfurnished Apartment with utilities (best for couples or families): €1,636.

Of course, these are just the average rental prices across Amsterdam. Prices also differ depending on which Amsterdam neighbourhood you live in. For example, depending on your preferred neighbourhood, you could pay anywhere between €950 - €1,575 for a studio.

While you can use these rent prices as an estimate, you should know that Amsterdam is notoriously known for high rental prices due to the shortage of houses. In fact, in September 2021, thousands of people marched the streets of Amsterdam to protest against the housing crisis The Netherlands.

This combination is not good for expats wanting to move to Amsterdam because on one hand it can take months to find a place and on the other hand, the few available places get booked in seconds.

Our advice- start searching homes for apartments for rent in Amsterdam, Netherlands at least 4 months before your arrival. Use a trusted service, such as HousingAnywhere, that will verify landlords and protect your deposit until you move in. And once you find something suited to your needs, be quick in booking your room, studio, or apartment.

Public Transport Costs in Amsterdam

Cycle: The Netherlands is not only known for cycling but is also one of the safest countries to cycle in as they’ve separate bicycle lanes. It’ll only cost you a one-time investment of buying a cycle and possibly a bicycle pump (unless your bike gets stolen!).

CycleAverage Cost
Second-hand€50 - €100
New cycle€250 - €600
Electric cycle€1,500-3,000

Public transport: If you plan to only travel within Amsterdam, you should get a card card from GVB, the public transport operator in Amsterdam. You can either pay the standard fares mentioned below or choose from many subscriptions (abonnementen) which will offer frequent travellers some discounts.

Ticket TypeAverage Cost
Single ticket€3.20
Bus/Tram/Metro (1.5 hours)€6.50
Day ticket€8.50
Child ticket (24 hours)€4.00
Monthly pass€97.50

If you plan to travel across the Netherlands, get the OV chipkaart from Amsterdam station's or online. This is the public transport card accepted by all the trams, busses, metros and trains in The Netherlands. The anonymous card is free and the personalised card which offers discounts costs €7.50.

Although prices really depend on your travel destination, time of travel, and subscription plan, here’re some basic cost indications for a one-way journey:

  • Amsterdam to Schipol- €4.60
  • Amsterdam to Rotterdam no discount- €16.50
  • Amsterdam to Rotterdam day discount (off-peak/weekends)- €9.90
  • Amsterdam to Rotterdam All-time discount (peak)- €13.20
  • Amsterdam to Rotterdam All-time discount (off-peak)- €9.90
  • Supplement for Intercity Direct trains- €2.60 (peak), €1.56 (off-peak)

Money saving tip: If you travel frequently to a different city, opt for Dag Vrij for unlimited travel during off-peak hours (€106/month) or Altijd Vrij for unlimited travel (€356/month).

Car: While a secondhand car can cost below €1000, a new car can cost upwards of €20,000. Additionally, you need to think about:

Car Related ExpensesAverage Cost
Fuel (gasoline)€1.84/litre
Mandatory third-party insurance€25 - €100
Cost of annual maintenance€20 - €75
Quarterly Road Tax (gasoline)€27 - 43
Quarterly Road Tax (diesel)€95 - 137
Annual Parking Permit (region dependent)€60 - €500
Cost of lessons + driving test€1,500 - €2,500
Exchange drivers licence€30 - €50

Taxi: Taxis are not common in Amsterdam and can be expensive. The starting cost is €3.19 and then €2.35 per/km.

Health Insurance in The Netherlands

Expats:

It is mandatory to get health insurance within the first 4 months if you’re living and earning an income in The Netherlands. This also applies to paid interns coming from abroad.

Taking out a standard health insurance (basisverzekering) will cover your visits to the General Practitioner (Huisarts), hospital, ambulance, prescription medication, dental visits for under 18s, pregnancy and maternity care, mental health services and more.

In 2022, the cheapest monthly premium (premie) can cost between €109.25 - €112.25 per month and the minimum own risk (*eigen risico) or out of pocket payment is €385. You may incur additional costs if you decide to take additional insurance to cover the costs of dental work, glasses, vaccinations, contraception, etc.

If you’re a single individual and decide to opt for Zilveren Kruis’ health insurance package, you will be paying €128.75 per month (€112.25 for premium + €5.75 for contraception, physiotherapy, and emergency care abroad + €10.75 for dental).

If you don’t earn enough , you will be eligible for a discount (zorgtoeslag).

International students:

International students from the EU/EEA region who’re temporarily in The Netherlands can simply use their European Health Insurance Card. For longer stays, you need to take out Dutch public health insurance. The basic packages will range from €109.25 to €128.75.

International students from outside the EU need to have private health insurance that covers healthcare costs in The Netherlands. Are you coming here on an exchange? Then your home university might even cover the cost of your health insurance during your stay.

Children:

If you’re an expat with children, they need to be insured in The Netherlands. But they’ll be covered by your insurer and you don’t need to pay any monthly premiums or own risk costs.

Utility bills: Gas, Water, Electricity, Internet, Phone

While most utility bills are affordable, the cost of electricity in Amsterdam is one of the highest in the world.

Energy TypeAverage Cost
Gas & Electricity€200
Water€30
Internet€50
Mobile (Ulimited calling + Data)€25

Dining Out in Amsterdam

With tonnes of cuisines to try, you’ll be spoiled for choices in Amsterdam. To live a budget-friendly life, you should budget an average of €100 per month for dining out.

FoodAverage Cost
Glass of beer/wine€4 - €7
Coffee€3.50 - €5.75
Sandwich€4 - €11
Lunch€8 - €15
Fast food€6 - €10
Dinner for 2€30 - €60

Cost of Groceries

The average cost of doing grocery in Amsterdam is around €200 - €350 per month.

Your grocery costs depend on where you shop. You’ve got the option to shop at some discount stores, such as Lidl or Aldi, visit grocery stores, such as Jumbo or Albert Hijn for some better quality and a wide range of products, or shop locally for organic produce at the weekly local markets.

TypeAverage Cost
Milk€0.89 - 1.74
Plant-based milk€0.99 - €2.00
Rice€1.99
Eggs€1.96 - €3.55
Coffee€3 - €8
Chips€0.99 - €1.20
Bread€0.65 - 2.55
Cheese€1.83 - €8.56
Apples€2.10 - €3.43
Bananas€0.99 - €1.30
Onions€1.15 - €1.32
Chicken€3.75 - €7.00
Beef€3.79 - €18.02

Education Costs in Amsterdam

University fees depend on your degree and duration. In general, for EU students, university tuition fees is on average €1,300 per year for full-time students. For international students, this can cost an average of €8,000 per year for a Bachelor’s degree and €14,000 per year for a Master’s degree.

If you’ve children and are planning to send them to a Dutch school, the tuition fees are next to nothing as the government highly subsidises education. You can expect to pay approximately €100 a year for school supplies.

If you’re planning to send your child to an international school, prepare to pay an exorbitant fee. Tuition fees can cost approximately €13,000 per year.

Personal Needs & Entertainment

TypeAverage Cost
Gym membership€30- €80/ month
Cinema Ticket€11- €18
Museum Ticket€11- €30
Netflix€7.99 - €13.99
Spotify€4.99 - €15.99
Haircut male€20 - €32
Haircut female€30 - €60

Childcare costs in Amsterdam

If you’re a registered expat and and have a child, you are eligible for receiving a child benefit (kinderbijslag) cost from the government.

Child BenefitAmount per quarter
0-5 years€223.37
6-11 years€271.24
11-17 years€319.10

For working families with children, your childcare costs will depend on your income, what type of care you’re after, and how many children you’ve.

Further, as an expat you’re eligible for government subsidies. The government will contribute a maximum of €7.18/hour for a maximum of 230 hours per month for daycare. Similarly, for after school care, the government will contribute a maximum of €6.69/hour. You can use the Dutch government’s calculator to know for sure.

Let’s put it in context. Your partner is working 40 hours a week and you’re working 32 hours a week. You’re earning an annual income of €60,000 together. The childcare cost per hour is €8.46, the maximum in 2022. Then the average cost for 1 child attending daycare (kinderopvang) for 4 days a week can cost €1,100/month. But with the discount, you could be paying €233 in total, saving €876/month!

Taxes

While you’re assessing the cost of living, don’t forget about income tax! After your basic tax credit of €2,837, you’ll be taxed at 37.1% for an annual income up to €68,507. Any income above that will be taxed at a steep rate of 49.5%!

If you’ve savings, then you can enjoy them tax-free up to €50,000. After that, they’ll be taxed at a maximum rate of 31%.

Hidden Costs

On top of these, don’t forget about the additional municipal taxes which you’ll also need to pay. This includes sewage, water, waste, property, etc.

Cost of Living in Amsterdam

Now that you’ve read until here, you can use our extensive guide to calculate your average monthly cost depending on your unique situation. But if you’re feeling too lazy to do the math, don’t worry. Here’s an estimation of the average monthly cost of living in Amsterdam for:

  • International Student (minus tuition fees): €1,280

  • Single person: €1,650

  • Couple: €2,200

  • Family of 3: €3,780

If you are looking for an apartment, private room or studio for rent in Amsterdam, it is best to start your search early.

Related Articles

Moving to the Netherlands?

Check out this detailed Arrival Checklist!

read now